June 10, 2022
Mosquito Control: Is It Safe?
by Caroline Konarzewski, with input from George Anderson and Mike Peppard
Much anticipated springtime has arrived. Trilliums bloom, leaf buds swell and burst into green, birds return from their winter retreat—and then the bugs! Blackflies and mosquitoes can wreak havoc on outdoor life, particularly in cottage country.

Some people use mosquito control “fogging” services, or DIY products, to control bugs on their property. Usually these are liquid-based products that are sprayed on targeted, high-mosquito-risk areas of their property. Common products used for fogging are concentrated garlic oil, and natural or synthetic pyrethrin, called pyrethroids. Multiple scientific studies show that synthetic pyrethroids, often called chrysanthemum oil making them sound natural, are chemically designed to be more toxic with lower breakdown times and are formulated with synergists increasing potency and compromising the body’s ability to detoxify the pesticide.

Here are some facts about pyrethrin and pyrethroids:
  • Highly toxic to insects and used to control mosquitoes, fleas, moths, flies and ants.
  • Highly toxic to honeybees, butterflies, dragonflies and all arthropods.
  • Toxic to bird food supply.
  • Highly toxic to fish and aquatic insects.
  • Can enter lake water from soil through erosion and drift.
  • Low potential to move to groundwater.
  • Break down quickly in soil and water in the presence of sunlight; but break down more slowly in the absence of sunlight.
  • Do not dissolve in water and tend to bind to sediment.
  • Low toxicity to humans and other mammals.
  • Infants, children, the elderly and people with sensitive skin and lung disorders are more vulnerable.
  • Direct exposure to skin can cause irritation, numbness and tingling at site of contact.
  • Direct exposure to eyes can cause irritation, blurred vision, tearing, itchiness.
  • When inhaled, can cause symptoms of irritation of the respiratory system, runny nose, coughing, and difficulty breathing.

Please consider the following alternative solutions for mosquito control:
  • Plant insect repelling plants like citronella, lavender, garlic, lemon grass, rosemary, basil, catnip, marigolds and petunias around your property.
  • Eliminate any standing water (even tiny amounts) to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs.
  • Use window and door screens to block mosquitoes from entering your home, cottage or workplace.
  • Use EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registered insect repellents to avoid being bitten. EPA-registered means the product works and is safe when you follow the directions.
  • Dress in light-colored clothing, long pants, and long sleeves and try to avoid areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Keeping in mind that information on toxicity in humans or on other insects such as caddisflies and dragonflies is unknown, garlic spray could be considered, as it is less harmful than pyrethroids.  
  • Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis, commonly referred to as B.t.i., is a bacterium found naturally in soils and is harmless to humans, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Since 1982, it has been used successfully worldwide as a biological pest control agent to combat mosquitoes and black flies. For example, the product Mosquito Dunk® uses B.t.i. and looks like a small, beige donut which floats on standing water. As the Dunk® slowly dissolves, it releases a bacterium which destroys the guts of black fly and mosquito larvae.

Perhaps it would be best to simply embrace outdoor life in Muskoka—bugs and all. But if you can’t stand the mosquitoes, please do your research, ask questions and use products with the least negative impacts on human and environmental health.

For more information, click on the links below

Mark the Date
The Annual General Meeting of the Lake of Bays Association will be held on
Saturday July 9, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. in the Dwight Community Centre.
Coffee and snacks will be served starting at 9:00 a.m.

We are delighted that award-winning, internationally published photographer
Rob Stimpson will present at the meeting.

Plan to attend!
2022 Yearbook Delay
Due to supply-chain issues beyond our control, the 2022 Lake of Bays Association yearbook will be arriving later than usual. We hope to have it in your hands by mid-July.
Keep LOBA Strong
The Lake of Bays Association relies on a group of hard-working volunteers called Area Stewards, each of whom is responsible for a road or roads. Their role is to ensure the residents on their assigned road(s) are aware of LOBA, to encourage non-members to join and remind lapsed members. They are also tasked with letting the LOBA office know about residents’ issues and concerns, and about changes in property ownership.
Volunteers are given a road(s) assignment, ideally close to their home base. In “normal times”, there is a meeting in June to distribute supplies, meet other Area Stewards and discuss pertinent issues for the upcoming summer season. Area Stewards are provided a contact list for their road(s) assignment and asked to reach out to the residents of their area over the summer months. During the months of February and March, Area Stewards receive a notice of those members who have not yet renewed and are asked to send them a gentle reminder by email, phone or an in-person visit. It’s a great way to meet new neighbours!
Interested in helping out?
We currently have over 50 Area Stewards but there is always room for more. Let Heather Yates know if you would like to volunteer – Here are the areas where we need help: 
Port Cunnington Road
Boyces Road
Smith Road
Barker’s Road
Arts Road
Montgomery Bay Road
Robson Lane
Birkendale Road
Little Trading Bay

Jo-Lee Point
Francis Lane
Bayview Point
Patrick Road
Raspberry Lane
Bigwin Island

photo by Sue Parr
As of June 6, paper products and containers (bottles, cans, etc.) collected at the curb and District waste facilities can now be mixed.

It is still important to follow the guidelines for what items can go in the recycling (see below), the only difference is you can now put all the allowed items in together.

Reading, Interesting Links and Events

With three orphaned moose calves, Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary asks drivers to slow down

Dispro Owners Association to host an outing from Norway Point to Dwight and back on Saturday June 18

Watersheds Canada hosting Healthy Shorelines, Healthy Lakes webinar on Tuesday June 14

Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP elect on getting to work for the riding

What to do if you're involved in a boat crash

Township of Lake of Bays
photo by Ahne Crawford-Ridley
The purpose of the Lake of Bays Association is to promote, sustain and enhance a clean and healthy natural environment, a well-serviced community and a safe and peaceful Lake of Bays.

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